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NOVEL REVIEW: PACHINKO BY MIN JIN LEE


Haengboghan Jumal Fadneiras,

Today, I'm going to share my review of a novel I just finished reading. The novel is titled Pachinko. And it is written by Min Jin Lee. Now let's begin this post with Min Jin Lee's bio...


ABOUT MIN JIN LEE

Min Jin Lee (Image: nytimes.com)

Min Jin Lee is a Korean-American award-winning author and journalist. She is based in New York. Some of the awards Lee has won are the 2022 Manhae Grand Price for Literature from South Korea, the 2022 Bucheon Diaspora Literary Award, the 2022 Samsung Happiness For Tomorrow Award for Creativity & Fellowship in Fiction from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute of Advance Study at Harvard, and the New York Foundation for the arts. Besides Panchinko, Lee has also published Free Food For Millionaires (her first novel). 

Lee is a member of the New York Foundation for the Arts Hall of Fame, and the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. She is also a writer-in-residence at Amherst College, a trustee at PEN America, and a director at the Authors Guild. 


ABOUT PACHINKO


Pachinko is a name for Japanese slot machines. Pachinkos can be found at game parlors in Japan. Like slot machines, pachinkos are also used for gambling. 

The novel, Pachinko tells the story of a Korean family during the Japanese occupation, the World War, and after the war. This novel belongs to the historical fiction genre. The story begins with a teenage girl named Sunja. Sunja is from Busan and she is the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman. 

During her teenage years in Busan, Sunja meets a handsome and wealthy Korean yakuza named Hansu. They fall in love. Later in the story, Sunja finds herself pregnant with Hansu's child. Hansu promises Sunja the world. But when Sunja finds out that Hansu is married, she refuses him.

Sunja later meets a handsome pastor named Isak. Isak is concerned about Sunja's future. So he proposes to her. Sunja accepts Isak's proposal. They get married and move to Osaka, Japan. Sunja and Isak had a good married life during their early years together. They are blessed with two handsome sons, Noa (who is actually Hansu's son), and Mozasu. But things change after Isak is accused of insulting the emperor of Japan. He is sent to prison for that.

As Sunja grows old, Mozasu's story begins. Mozasu is different from his brother, Noa. Unlike Noa, Mozasu is a boy with average ability. He is not very interested in his studies. Mozasu left school at a very young age. He went to work at a pachinko parlor. While Mozasu is working at the pachinko parlor, he falls in love with the business and vows to become a successful pachinko parlor owner. Besides falling in love with the pachinko business, Mozasu also falls for a girl named Yumi. They get married and have a son named Solomon. Solomon later becomes the protagonist of the story...


MY REVIEW OF PACHINKO


Pachinko is different from most of the stories I've read before. It's a story about family, love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. The story doesn't just have one protagonist. But the story has three protagonists instead. This story is not just based on one character's point of view. This story is more plot-driven than character-driven.

To me, Pachinko is a very enjoyable book to read. Reading Pachinko makes me learn about the history of Korea, how Korean people are like during the old days, and the hardship Korean people endure during the Japanese occupation, the World War, and after the war.

Besides the knowledge I gained, I also like the way Min Jin Lee wrote this story. Her writing style is very artsy, literary, and sophisticated. I believe this is why Pachinko is listed as one of the best modern literary fiction.

Overall, I rate this novel 9/10. I highly recommend my fellow bookworms to read this novel, especially those who are into the historical fiction genre. Pachinko is a novel you must not miss, guys. However, I do need to be honest that this novel has some adult scenes and dialogue in it. So this novel is not suitable for those who are under 18. 

Btw, this is my first time reading a novel written by a Korean novelist. After reading Pachinko, I am interested to read more novels written by Korean novelists. So any recommendations, guys? Hehehe ^_^ Please share your recommendations in the comment box below, ya ^_^


Ok, this is all for now. Thank you for reading my review of Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. So has any of my readers read Pachinko? If yes, what are your opinions of it? Did you enjoy reading it?

Khungang Haseyo,

Fadima Mooneira ^_^

(Authorpreneur, Content Creator, Blogger & Illustrator)


#Pachinko #MinJinLee #HistoricalFiction #ModernLiterature #KoreanAmericanAuthor #KoreanAmericanNovelist #NovelReview #FadimaMooneiraLibrary #Edutainment #FadimaMooneiraDotCom



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Comments

  1. Great post! Thank you for sharing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You’re welcome, dear ❤️๐Ÿ’–❤️๐Ÿ’–❤️๐Ÿ’–

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  2. Lovely review! It is a love story with gambling involved. Intriguing.

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  3. Untuk yang berimaginasi tinggi seronok baca novel. Tapi untuk orang yang macam saya ni, payah oo rajin tengok series or movie or animation sahaja.

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  4. This is interesting, I didn't know about this machine and the novel is interesting as well.

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    1. Yeah! Reading this novel is also the first time I learned about pachinko.

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  5. I loved the sound of this so much that I just went on Audible and downloaded it. I love historical fiction, and was looking for my next listen, so thank you :)

    Lindsay / https://thetravelvine.blog/

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  6. I enjoyed the author bio and the background on Pachinko as the lead up to the review! Thanks for sharing :)

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  7. Great review of Min Jin Lee's book, Pachinko. I have read this book! It was selected for a book club I was in. Most of our group enjoyed the book very much. It was interesting to learn about the extremely popular gambling game, Pachinko. Also fascinating to follow the story of this family over generations. However, I wasn't a huge fan of the book due to the unhappiness throughout the story. Life isn't fair and some of our perceptions are influenced by our culture or the people around us, but I wish a few of the characters would have made different choices.

    I am interested in and planning to read one of the author's earlier books, Free Food for Millionaires.

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    1. I’m interested to read Min Jin Lee’s first novel too. Btw, thank you for your opinions on Panchinko. It was interesting to read your thoughts.

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  8. I love that you gave background on the author! https://fleurdelailis.wordpress.com/

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    1. I always write about the author on all of my book reviews.

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  9. This sounds like a really interesting novel, thank you for sharing! I also loved learning a bit more about the author x

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  10. Such a great review. Thank you for sharing it with us x

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  11. It's great that this book also offers some insight into the history of Korea! Sounds like a great read x

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  12. I keep meaning to read this! I downloaded it last year when I moved to Japan but never got around to reading it. Thanks for re-inspiring me.

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    1. I hope you will get to read it soon. It’s awesome that you’re staying in Japan now. Where in Japan btw?

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  13. Great review! I've seen a lot of good feedback for this book and it sounds like something I'd enjoy, so I'm adding it to my TBR. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Great! Hope you will enjoy it ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

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  14. This is definitely going on my reading list; thanks so much for this great review. I love finding new books to enjoy and this sounds like a really good book; I will check out more of Min Jin Lee's work.

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    1. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

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  15. This novel sounds interesting, its about 2 generations stories and history

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  16. Thanks for sharing your review about this book, love the book cover & good to enjoy reading novel & learn more about Korea. Cheers SiennyLovesDrawing

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    1. ❤️๐Ÿ’–❤️๐Ÿ’–❤️๐Ÿ’–❤️๐Ÿ’–❤️๐Ÿ’–

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